SKOKIE, Ill. (May 25) — John J. Nevin, who as chief executive at Firestone closed plants, cut jobs and led the firm´s sale to Bridgestone Corp., died May 23 at age 79.
Nevin joined the floundering tire and rubber company in 1979, charged with reviving its fortunes. Firestone was losing millions and hadn´t recovered from the Firestone 500 recall.
A former Ford Motor Co. executive and Zenith Radio Corp. CEO, Nevin ordered the closing of many factories, sliced the firm´s employment levels in half, and moved corporate headquarters from Akron to Chicago. In 1988, after a late offer by Michelin and Pirelli inflated the bidding, Bridgestone bought Firestone for $80 a share.
Nevin retired in 1990. He is survived by his wife, Anne; seven children; and eight grandchildren.